The overlap of golf and business has a long history that, at least in this country, dates back to President Eisenhower conducting state affairs on the grounds of Augusta National. It makes sense then that office clothing and golf apparel have also been on a collision course, an impact that now extends well beyond the polos and khakis of casual Friday.
Consider Ministry of Supply, a Boston-based apparel company that started out with a mission of blending work clothes with performance materials. “We call it performance professional,” said the company’s director of retail, Ian Worgaftik. “They’re sharp, professional looking garments with performance aspects.”
Performance Goes Professional
Now that Ministry of Supply has established itself in the workplace, its product pendulum is swinging in the other direction: crossing the best parts of its office gear with sportswear. And golfers stand to benefit, particularly from the company’s line of wrinkle-resistant clothes. “We’ve got dress shirts and dress pants that are made to stay crisp all day and even if you go out after work,” said Worgaftik. “Even our suits are machine washable. Now we’re bringing that to active wear and golf.”
One of the most prominent areas of overlap is the company’s approach to creating wrinkle-resistant clothing, which is important to golfers who don’t want to stumble off the 18th green looking like they’ve been crumbled up and stuffed in their bag for half the round. To keep everything from its Apollo 3 polo to its Kinetic pant to its Momentum chinos and shorts looking crisp, Ministry of Supply starts by adding some polyester.
The Secret is in the Fabric
The material has a bad rap from its association with the cheesy leisure suits the 1970s, but it’s actually something of a miracle fabric. Because of the way its long-chain polymers are chemically linked, polyester generally retains its shape, and it has heat-activated shape memory, so even if it does get stretched or wrinkled a little body heat or a spin in the dryer will smooth it out.
But Ministry of Supply’s garments are a far cry from a basic polyester. The company uses two types of polyester – PET and PPT, each of which has unique properties – and mixes them with other natural and synthetic fabrics to get an optimum combination of flexibility, softness, temperature/moisture control and wrinkle resistance. In addition, it utilizes hollow-core polyester, in which polyester fibers are chopped up and twisted together to imitate the structure and feel of cotton but retain its anti-wrinkle properties.
Why does all this matter? Research shows that athletes who feel good about how they look tend to perform better. So even if your play isn’t sharp, your clothes should be. Then maybe your game will follow.